Africa – when you hear this word, many people think of endless savannahs roamed by elephants and majestic lions. Alternatively, images of starving children, civil wars or illnesses appear in the mind’s eye. The continent cannot be reduced to safaris and crises. After all, Africa is made up of 54 different states, each with its own story. More than 3000 different ethnic groups live in the countries between the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, there are almost 2000 African languages and a variety of lived traditions and cultures.
If you want to get to know the continent better, the Africa Regional Studies course is the right choice.
The subject at a glance
Only a few German universities offer the African Regional Studies course – also known as African Studies or African Studies. The subject has its origins in the study of African languages by the missionaries and Africa explorers of the 19th century.
The first chairs for African linguistics were established in Germany as early as the beginning of the 20th century. The linguistics plays an important role in today’s programs. In addition, the students sit down with the
individual regions of Africa apart.
According to medicinelearners, the universities set very different priorities . In most cases, students also have to choose a minor that gives their studies a sharper profile. You can choose from African linguistics or ethnology .
Language acquisition is the focus of the bachelor’s degree . Depending on what the university offers, students take language courses in Swahili, Fula or another African language. In the course of their studies, there is usually another language in which the students acquire at least basic knowledge. In addition, the students deal with the history, politics, literature or culture of individual countries . The seminar topics range from “ Gender and Society in Classical African Women” to “Religious Diversity in Africa”. In the higher semesters, students can often focus on a specific region or topic.
Students who are aiming for management positions or an academic career can complete a master’s degree in regional science in Africa after completing their bachelor’s degree. The Master programs offer the possibility of yet further to a defined part of the field of study to specialize . Many universities focus on linguistics. At some universities, however, students can also choose a different focus and study the literature, culture or history of individual African countries in more detail.
Requirements for studying regional science in Africa
Applicants should of course have a keen interest in the African continent. To learn two completely foreign languages, you also need a certain talent for languages . Previous knowledge is usually not expected. However, students must have a good command of English in order to understand the specialist literature. Some master’s courses are even taught entirely in English. Some universities require knowledge of a second European foreign language , for example French, as this is widespread in Africa.
Professions for Africa experts
The study of African Studies does not provide training for a specific professional field. However, there are many different areas in which African scientists are needed. In politics , for example, they are used as academic speakers, political advisors or in the foreign service. Another popular field of work is development cooperation . Graduates work for foundations, international organizations and NGOs, among others. In the cultural field , for example, they work for museums, publishers or media related to Africa. A relatively large number of graduates are also drawn to science. After completing a master’s degree and doctorate, you have the opportunity to work in a research institute or to go into university research and teaching. In any case, it is advisable to do internships while you are still studying. In this way, students can orientate themselves professionally and collect additional qualifications.
Experience Africa – reasons for studying abroad
A study visit to an African country is strongly recommended for students of African Studies . On the one hand, a semester abroad helps to deepen African language skills . On the other hand, students can get to know the countries of Africa better on site . This also prevents the danger put forward by critics of the subject of looking at Africa from a purely European perspective, which is still not entirely free from prejudices. A semester abroad in Africa also offers the unique opportunity to discover the diverse landscapes of the continent and to make international contacts.